A home activity might be to ask students to talk with their families about any portraits they might have including photographs, especially ones that are of grandparents and great-grandparents. Color copies of these portraits with information about the subjects can be made and placed in the classroom.

Sample Information to Parents
from The Department of Education and Skills, UK: http://www.dfee.gov.uk/parents/discover/portrait/portrait.htm

Portraits In Our Lives

  • Go around the house with your child and try to spot all the different portraits. Look for paintings, drawings, photographs, fabrics and sculptures. You can find pictures of people on everything from coins and pottery to packaging and advertisements.
  • Talk with your child about why each portrait is there.
    • Is it a picture or photograph that you have kept to remind you of someone from the past, or someone you like or miss?
    • Is it just a picture that you like?
    • Is the portrait being used to sell a product (like a photograph of a happy baby on a baby product)?
    • Does it help to show where a product comes from (like a maple leaf used to symbolize Canada)?

Make Your Own Exhibit

Encourage children to make their own collection of portraits. They could include:

  • their own photographs or drawings of family, friends and other people working, playing, relaxing or celebrating important events
  • photographs of themselves or other people at different ages, or wearing particular types of clothes (such as sports kit or party outfits)
  • pictures of people who come from different parts of the world
  • postcards and posters of interesting people
  • cartoons of famous people.

Talk about the portraits with your child and ask why they have included them in their gallery.


A downloadable booklet for parents (in PDF) format is available here:

Create a Family Portrait